Old Fashioned Quality
Besides being a notorious singer, guitarist, composer, dramatist, writer and poet, Chico Buarque is also quite skilful in dividing his time. After the release of Carioca in 2006, Chico Buarque decided to spend some time on writing. It resulted in the critically acclaimed novel Leite Derramado. Next, it was time again for some music. Chico started to compose and recorded ten most pleasing songs for this album that he simply called Chico. After such a music time-out, expectations about a new album are also fed by impatience. But, again, Chico Buarque proves to be the musician who pursues a continuous high artistic level.
Since the 1990s Chico started to divide his time between writing and music. He published novels (Estorvo in 1991, Benjamim (1995), Budapeste (2003) and Leite Derramado in 2009) and released some beautiful CDs (Paratodos (1993), Uma Palavra (1995), As Cidades (1998) and Carioca in 2006). And here’s his next accomplishment: Chico.
On this album Chico Buarque kind of rephrases his older repertoire. Romance is the main sentiment in the lyrics, melancholy is the main sentiment of the music. The compositions feature samba, bossa-nova and bluesy ballads. As on many of Chico’s albums, an important part is played by acoustic guitarist and arranger Luiz Cláudio Ramos (Rio de Janeiro, 1949). His decades of experience with Chico Buarque and his music, made him a true expert in how to arrange and perform his compositions. By now he’s almost like part of the sound of Chico Buarque. It’s that typical sound that opens the CD. “Querido Diário” has that special Chico Buarque flavor all over it. The singer tells about the everyday routine while strolling through the streets. A string quartet accentuates the feeling of melancholy. Chico calls this an updated version of his composition from 1971, “Cotidiano.”
Chico Buarque invited a few guests to participate on the album. The first one we hear is his very close friend, singer Thais Gulin. Chico wrote “Se Eu Soubesse” especially for the 31-year-old singer from the city of Curitiba. She already recorded the song on her own album ôÔÔôôÔôÔ, with Chico as guest. She now returns the favor by singing it with Chico. It almost sounds like a duo that’s in a conversation. (although not mentioned on the Biscoito Fino release, we hear Cristina Braga on harp here). On the cheerful samba “Sou Eu,” Chico invited the legendary drummer/singer Wilson das Neves (Rio de Janeiro, 1936) to share the vocals. Wilson das Neves has performed with Chico Buarque before, but he mainly made fame as drummer from the legendary band Os Ipanemas (with a mix of afro-samba, bossa nova and jazz). “Sou Eu” was written by Chico in partnership with Ivan Lins, who saw the samba as an addition to the repertoire of singer Simone. However, Chico preferred the lyrics to be sung by a male vocalist. And thus the song appeared on an album by samba singer Diogo Nogueira (Tô Fazendo Minha Parte, 2009). Chico’s own interpretation with Wilson das Neves is one of the many highlights on “Chico”. Another highlight is without any doubt the participation of guitarist/ singer João Bosco (1946, Ponte Nova, in the state of Minas Gerais). The samba “Sinhá” unites the styles of these two giants, samba with Afro-samba influences. “Essa pequena” is a blues about how time plays a role in a love-affair between an older man and a younger woman. It features beautiful acoustic bass lines by Jorge Helder, lovely jazzy piano accompaniment (João Rebouças), a nice acoustic guitar solo (Luiz Cláudio Ramos ) and violinist Nicolas Krassik in a nostalgic jazz (Stephane Grappelli) tradition. “Sem Você Nº 2,” with a sad cynism about how life is without the other, of course refers to the well known Tom Jobim/Vinícius de Moraes bossa nova from 1959, “Sem Você.” In “Nina” the author goes on a virtual journey to Moscow where he’ll meet his dream girl Nina. The accordion of Marcos Nimrichter and the cello of Hugo Pilger add to a Russian atmosphere in this little waltz. Each song tells its own story. They all have in common that they fit in the repertoire of their composer in a most comfortable way. No music is as recognizable as Chico Buarque’s music.
The CD invites to listen again. The power of Chico Buarque’s music is that the listener constantly discovers new details in the apparently friendly music. Outside it looks simple black and white, but inside all the colours open up…
In Brazil: Biscoito Fino BF1137 (2011)
In the USA: DRG Brazil DRG-CD-31631 (2011)
All compositions by Chico Buarque, except where noted.
- Querido Diário
- Rubato (Jorge Helder – Chico Buarque)
- Essa Pequena
- Tipo Um Baião
- Se Eu Soubesse
- Sem Você nº 2
- Sou Eu (Ivan Lins – Chico Buarque)
- Sinhá (João Bosco – Chico Buarque)